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Susceptibility of yellow starthistle to Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis and greenhouse production of inoculum for classical biological control programs

Woods, Dale M., Bruckart, William L. III, Pitcairn, Michael, Popescu, Viola, O'Brien, Jon
Biological control 2009 v.50 no.3 pp. 275
Centaurea solstitialis, Puccinia, plant pathogenic fungi, biological control agents, rust diseases, weed control, disease resistance, inoculum, fungal spores, biological production, greenhouses, seasonal variation, California
In anticipation of large-scale distribution of a Turkish isolate of Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis in California for biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, YST), susceptibility of YST within the state was determined and a protocol for bulk inoculum production was developed. Inoculation was made of 62 field accessions of YST representative of the range of habitats in California. These were determined to be equally susceptible to infection by the isolate approved for release in the United States in 2003. To support a program to speed establishment by release at many locations statewide, protocols for artificial increase of inoculum were developed. Over 64 g of urediniospores were produced with a mass-production system under greenhouse conditions from 2003 to 2006. Yield of inoculum varied by season, with peak production occurring from early spring through early summer. A large-scale urediniospore harvest also was made from a field plot at Davis, California. Our results show that susceptibility of YST in California is not likely to limit establishment of P. jaceae for biological control, and that production of this or other obligate pathogenic fungi (biological control agent) is possible for support of statewide release and research programs.